Electronic Computers Almost Invented As WW2 Rages

3/24/2020 - Monocle Journal

During the early 1900s, rudimentary versions of computers were being developed within different industries, designed to mechanise specific tasks such as calculating tide tables for ships. However, during World War II, the development of a general-purpose computer – more in line with Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine – received renewed interest, driven largely by the availability of newly developed electronic components that could be used to produce a machine far more powerful than its mechanical predecessors. The competition to produce the first electronic computer intensified as researchers, predominantly in the US and the UK, worked to create a device that would give their countries a distinct military advantage as the Germans advanced across Europe.